Ecosystem overviews

What are Ecosystem Overviews?

Ecosystem Overviews are central to ICES approach to support evidence-based Ecosystem Based Management, the primary way of managing human activities affecting marine ecosystems.

​​​The overviews have been developed through a system of client/stakeholder-involved workshops. They set the broader ecosystem context for other ICES advice products, such as fishing opportunities, special requests and fisheries overviews. Ecosystem Overviews increase our capacity to provide the integrated ecosystem advice that is required to meet the current and future needs of clients and stakeholders.


The specific sections of Ecosystem Overviews describe:

  • location, scale, and the management and assessment boundaries of the ecoregion;
  • distribution of human activities and resulting pressures on the environment and ecosystem;
  • state of the ecosystem

They link the key pressures and trends, including climate change, to changes in different ecosystem components.


The Ecosystem Overviews are continuously developed to address new information as well as changes in the ecosystem, legislation, and the drivers of human pressures. The inclusion of new topics into Ecosystem Overviews depends on the relevance to requesters of advice and stakeholders, the scientific maturity, data availability and quality, and the capacity of expertise in ICES science network.

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What are Ecosystem Overviews?

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